Chavan to probe claims of faulty bulletproof jacket for cops
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Last Updated: Saturday, November 14, 2009, 23:37
New Delhi: Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan on Saturday said he will "find out the truth" in the claims that ATS chief Hemant Karkare was killed in the 26/11 Mumbai attacks because of a faulty bulletproof jacket he was wearing.

"I will find out what is the truth in the matter," Chavan told reporters here when asked about claims that the jacket worn by Karkare was defective.

A PIL filed in the Bombay High Court had claimed that the bullet proof vests worn by Karkare and two other senior officers while fighting terrorists on November 26 last belonged to the batch of 110 defective pieces purchased by the police way back in 2002.

This comes in the wake of revelations by Karkare's widow Kavita that the bullet proof jacket worn by her husband was missing. She had filed an RTI request in this regard.

Chavan said he had heard about the claims and would look into them. The Chief Minister was talking to journalists after inaugurating the Maharashtra Pavilion at the India International Trade Fair here.

On allegations by SP leader Amar Singh on threat to party MLA Abu Azmi's life, he merely said "Amar Singh is a big national leader, I am a small leader from a state."

Chavan had met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Congress President Sonia Gandhi yesterday. "These were courtesy meetings," he said.

Terming the Saras crash on the outskirts of Bangalore earlier this year as "unfortunate", Chavan said "we need to put behind such temporary setbacks and work towards certification of the project."

The success of such programmes is the first step in building the aerospace industry, he said, adding the participation of private firms like Mahindra Aerospace and Tatas in production and manufacture of aircraft augurs well for the industry.

With two per cent of GDP being spent on science and technology, future wealth will be created from knowledge, more so from innovation. "With this in mind, the the government is creating the supporting ecosystem by establishing institutions of higher learning," he said.

G Madhavan Nair, Chairman Research Council, NAL and former Chairman ISRO, DoS (Department of Space), who presided, described the hangar as the "nucleus of various aircraft related techniques".

Recalling NAL's close partnership with ISRO, he said it was a "pleasant coincidence that the inauguration of the hangar coincides with the first anniversary of placing the Indian flag on the moon" and hoped NAL would evolve as a national facility for research and development in aeronautics in India.

Earlier M S Chidananda, Head C-CADD (Centre for Civil Aircraft Design and Development) said NAL's Saras project was likely to get the certification by end of December 2011. "We are working on the P3 (third protoype) of Saras by reducing the structural weight by 500 kg and it is expected to be ready by the third quarter of next year," he said.

Bureau Report

First Published: Saturday, November 14, 2009, 23:37

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